Political buzzwords like, “Shutdown Showdown” and “Shutdown Countdown” dominate current events lessons in classrooms, but the Washington, D.C., spending controversy could have an impact closer to home for public school students.
At Fort Worth schools, where millions of federal dollars help support students, the answer depends on how long a shutdown lasts. Although the Fort Worth school district, which has close to 87,000 students, relies mostly on local dollars, federal money helps pay for academic resources and school lunches.
Fort Worth is the largest public school system in Tarrant County. This year’s general budget includes about $12.3 million in federal money. Another $51.6 million pays for food services, according to the district.
Clint Bond, spokesman for the school district, said a short shutdown “might be no impact at all.” But if it persists, then there could be a delay in receiving grant funds, Title 1 funds or even reimbursements for child nutrition.
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“We do have cash reserves on hand that could sustain us temporarily, but if it went beyond a few months then things could get tight,” Bond said.
Earlier this school year, the district had already grappled with a federal funding changes that caused it to start the academic year with fewer federal dollars for the Title I, Part A program, a federal program that provides funding to schools serving economically disadvantaged students nationwide.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.